Creating stunning black and white images in Capture One Pro (Podcast 606)

Creating stunning black and white images in Capture One Pro (Podcast 606)

I recently created a video for the Phase One team to show how I created my Boat Graveyard black and white image using a number of techniques and features of Capture One Pro 11. We’ll pick up the trail with the concluding episode of my 2018 Hokkaido Winter Landscape Photography travelogue series next week, but for this week, I hope you find this video useful.

The audio podcast episode for this week is really just pointing people to this page, but I’ve embedded the usual audio player just to be thorough. Feel free to skip the audio, and go straight to the video and blog post below.

Each year, I travel to Hokkaido, the northern-most island of Japan, to lead my minimalist winter landscape photography tour. Much of the work I make from the locations we visit is converted to black and white, and Capture One Pro enables me to create beautifully toned black and white images without the need for third-party plugins. Being able to work directly on my raw files affords me a number of important benefits. I can save on disk space because I don’t have to save large PSD or TIFF files. I can also revisit and tweak my processing without having to completely reprocess it in a third-party application. And I get to reap the benefits of the ever-improving processing engine as Capture One Pro is upgraded over the years.

Today we’re going to take this image, straight out of the camera…

Boat Graveyard with Big Sky - Original

Boat Graveyard with Big Sky – Original

And convert it to this black and white image.

Boat Graveyard with Big Sky

Boat Graveyard with Big Sky

Here are the steps that I follow to create my high contrast black and white image of what I call “The Boat Graveyard” in Hokkaido, Japan. Some of the shortcuts I use are custom shortcuts, that may be different to yours, but this is another one of the many things that I love about Capture One Pro. We can customize it to suit and speed up our workflow, enabling us to quickly work through our images.

First, let’s enable Black and White and reduce the Blue channel to -20, to darken the blue in the sky a little.

Enable Black and White

Then, on the Background layer (as opposed to creating a layer) let’s adjust the Levels to brighten the whites by moving the white point to -226, to open up the whites in the image, and move the midpoint to -0.18 to increase the contrast a little.

Adjust Levels

Let’s also add 40 Clarity in Punch mode and 12 Structure.

Add Clarity

And we can increase the contrast more by applying a somewhat aggressive Luma Curve to darken the shadows and mid-tones, and lighten the highlights slightly. It’s a good idea to also turn on Exposure Warnings, so that you can see if you start to push it too far. We don’t want the whites to get too bright, or the shadows to get too deep.

Lluma Curve

I also increase the High Dynamic Range Highlight slider to 38 to reduce the highlights and increase contrast further.

High Dynamic Range Highlights

We can use the Gradient tool with the SHIFT key to draw a mask over the horizon line and apply another pretty aggressive Luma Curve to the sky, with a strong S curve. The Luma curve works mainly on the luminosity or brightness of the image. We can also add a very subtle S curve to the RGB curve, to slightly darken the blue in the sky at the same time as adding more contrast.

Gradiant Mask and Luma Curve

As we bring out some contrast in the sky, the dust spots from the sensor start to become prominent, so we can use the dust removal tool to remove them. And finally, for this layer, let’s increase the Clarity a little further, to around 15.

To bring down the bright patch in the bottom left of the sky, let’s add another Adjustment layer and paint in a feathered mask to darken down the shadows a little with a Luma Curve.

Sky Patch Luma Curve

Now we’ll create a new Adjustments layer, and paint in a new mask over the foreground, and use the new Refine Mask feature to fine tune this along the ridge of the snow, then delete what’s left over the sea with the Erase brush. Once we have all of the foreground snow and boats selected with our mask, let’s add a Luma curve and a bit of an RGB curve, as well as a slight increase in the High Dynamic Range Shadows slider, all to brighten the mid-tones and highlights in the snow

Refine Mask

Finally, we use a number of Heal layers to clone out the bits of grass in the foreground to add the finishing touches.

Another thing that really helps me to speed up my workflow, is that once I’ve made my changes to an image like this, I often copy my adjustments to the clipboard, and apply them to other images with just a few keystrokes. Of course, if I’ve been using masks, I have to adjust them to match the content of the new image, but it’s still a lot faster than doing everything from scratch on each image.

I used to spend a lot of time after returning from my tours just to get through my initial edits so that I can start to blog about my adventures and use the images to market future tours. Now that I’m using Capture One Pro, my workflow is so streamlined that I am able to keep up with my processing each evening and come home with most if not all of my work processed. This is a huge time saver and reduces the stress as I try to catch up with business after my tours.

OK, so that was my post and video on creating a black and white version of my Boat Graveyard photograph. I hope you found it useful.


Show Notes

See all of Martin’s Capture One Pro tutorials here: https://mbp.ac/cotutorials

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.


Capture One Pro Simple Adjustment Guide #1 (Podcast 552)

Capture One Pro Simple Adjustment Guide #1 (Podcast 552)

I recently put together a Simple Adjustment Guide for Capture One Pro from Phase One, which I’m releasing as this weeks Podcast to celebrate the release of version 10 of this incredible raw image processing software.

In this guide I explain how I take the background in a photograph of a lotus flower, to almost full black, at the same time as bringing out some beautiful detail in what started as a relatively mediocre photograph.

I’ve embedded the video below, but you can view mine and a host of other Simple Adjustment Guides on the Phase One Web site with the below link. You can also download the raw file that I work on to try the techniques explained for yourself using my photograph.

https://www.phaseone.com/en/Products/Software/Capture-One-Pro/Learning-Hub.aspx

This is only a 10 minute video, but I hope you find it useful!

https://youtu.be/RiKIBliDXaM

I will be creating more of these guides as time allows, so I hope you enjoy these. If you have a particular technique that you’d like me to describe in a future guide, do let me know if the comments below.

Save 10% on Capture One Pro!

If you don’t yet use Capture One Pro, now is a great time to give it a try. You can download Capture One Pro here and give it a try for a full 30 days to see if it’s for you before you take the plunge. Be warned though, once you’ve seen your images at their full potential, it will be hard to walk away from this. 🙂

Please note that due to changes in Phase One, the discount code that I mentioned in the Podcast is no longer valid. 


Show Notes

View this and other Simple Adjustment Guides on the Phase One Web site and download my raw file here: https://www.phaseone.com/en/Products/Software/Capture-One-Pro/Learning-Hub.aspx

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.


Scanning Medium Format 120 Film (Podcast 479)

Scanning Medium Format 120 Film (Podcast 479)

This is part 4 of our Film Fun series, in which I walk you through scanning medium format 120 film into the computer.

The podcast released for this episode is just an iPhone optimized low-resolution version of the full-sized video, which will enable you to view during your commute etc. but to see any detail, it’s best to view the full-sized video below.

Here’s a rundown of the entire Film Fun series.

  • Part #1 – Loading and Unloading a Yashica-D TLR Camera with 120 Medium Format Film (see here)
  • Part #2 – Feeding 120 Film into a Paterson Reel for Developing (see here)
  • Part #2b – Feeding 120 Film into a Paterson Reel inside the Changing Bag (see here)
  • Part #3 – Developing a Roll of ILFORD 120 Black and White Film (see here)
  • Part #4 – Scanning Medium Format 120 Film (video below)

Although I shot film for around 20 years until around 2000, I never had the chance to develop my own, so this whole experience has been very new to me and a LOT of fun. I have much more experience scanning film though, so this video is perhaps the one which I am most confident of the content, but I have enjoyed the entire process, and I hope you’ve enjoyed joining me on this initial Film Fun journey.

Here are the links to all of the products required for this process on B&H Photo. You can help to support the podcast by using these links. Use this link if you don’t see the products below: https://mbp.ac/bhfdp

Film Related Posts

[ess_grid alias=”film-posts-grid”]


Show Notes

See this video on our Vimeo channel here: https://vimeo.com/martinbailey

See our Recommended Film Developing Products page on B&H: https://mbp.ac/bhfdp


Video

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download the low-res Podcast in MP4 Video Format.


Developing a Roll of ILFORD 120 Black and White Film (Podcast 477)

Developing a Roll of ILFORD 120 Black and White Film (Podcast 477)

We continue our mini-series of Film Fun videos, and today is the big day! In this week’s video, we develop a roll of black and white ILFORD 120 medium format film.

The podcast released for this episode is just an iPhone optimized low-resolution version of the full-sized video, which will enable you to view during your commute etc. but to see any detail, it’s best to view the full-sized video below.

Here’s a rundown of the entire Film Fun series.

  • Part #1 – Loading and Unloading a Yashica-D TLR Camera with 120 Medium Format Film (see here)
  • Part #2 – Feeding 120 Film into a Paterson Reel for Developing (see here)
  • Part #2b – Feeding 120 Film into a Paterson Reel inside the Changing Bag (see here)
  • Part #3 – Developing a Roll of ILFORD 120 Black and White Film (video below)
  • Part #4 – Scanning Medium Format 120 Film (see here)

Although I shot film for around 20 years until around 2000, I never had the chance to develop my own, so this whole experience has been very new to me and a LOT of fun. I won’t spill the beans on what happens in part three just yet, but as I mention a few times in the videos, I am sharing this first time experience with you, blow-by-blow, warts and all.

Below the video, you’ll also find links to everything that you need to develop your own film on B&H. Figuring this out was one of the largest hurdles, so I hope that will be useful for you too.

Here’s the main video for Part #3!

Here are the links to all of the products required for this process on B&H Photo. You can help to support the podcast by using these links. Use this link if you don’t see the products below: https://mbp.ac/bhfdp

Film Related Posts

[ess_grid alias=”film-posts-grid”]


Show Notes

See this video on our Vimeo channel here: https://vimeo.com/martinbailey

See our Recommended Film Developing Products page on B&H: https://mbp.ac/bhfdp

Music by Martin Bailey


Video

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download the low-res Podcast in MP4 Video Format.


Feeding 120 Film into a Paterson Reel for Developing (Podcast 476)

Feeding 120 Film into a Paterson Reel for Developing (Podcast 476)

Today we continue our a mini-series of Film Fun videos, in which I’m walking you through my first experiences in using and processing ILFORD black and white 120 medium format film.

The podcast released for this episode is just an iPhone optimized low resolution version of the full sized video, which will enable you to view during your commute etc. but to see any detail, it’s best to view the full sized video below.

Here’s a run down of the entire Film Fun series.

  • Part #1 – Loading and Unloading a Yashica-D TLR Camera with 120 Medium Format Film (See here)
  • Part #2 – Feeding 120 Film into a Paterson Reel for Developing (video below)
  • Part #2b – Feeding 120 Film into a Paterson Reel inside the Changing Bag (video below)
  • Part #3 – Developing a Roll of ILFORD 120 Black and White Film (see here)
  • Part #4 – Scanning Medium Format 120 Film (see here)

Although I shot film for around 20 years until around 2000, I never had the chance to develop my own, so this whole experience has been very new to me and a LOT of fun. I won’t spill the beans on what happens in part three just yet, but as I mention a few times in the videos, I am sharing this first time experience with you, blow-by-blow, warts and all.

Below the videos you’ll also find links to everything that you need to develop your own film on B&H. Figuring this out was one of the largest hurdles, so I hope that will be useful for you too.

Here’s the main video for Part #2!

And here is the bonus video showing the same process, but doing it inside the changing bag!

Here are the links to all of the products required for this process on B&H Photo. You can help to support the podcast by using these links. Use this link if you don’t see the products below: https://mbp.ac/bhfdp

Film Related Posts

[ess_grid alias=”film-posts-grid”]


Show Notes

See this video on our Vimeo channel here: https://vimeo.com/martinbailey

See our Recommended Film Developing Products page on B&H: https://mbp.ac/bhfdp

Music by Martin Bailey


Video

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download the Podcast in low-res MP4 Video Format.